By NewsGram Staff Writer
All seems to be absolutely well for West Bengal Transport Minister Madan Mitra who has been in and (mostly) out of jail after having been arrested on December 12, 2014. Mitra, who happens to be Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s go-to man, was jailed on account of being involved in the Saradha scam, further indulging in activities like conspiring with Saradha group Chairman and illicit money making.
However, out of the 6 months, Mitra has only been inside the jail for a month. Thanks to his recurring ‘uneasiness’ and ‘loss of appetite’, he has had the luxury of the VIP room of Woodburn ward. His room has complete air conditioning, a television set, separate bathroom and all kinds of luxuries.
Mitra’s situation paints a contrasting picture with the ‘common’ prisoners, who are meant to sleep on an iron cot, eat whatever food is given to them, and participate in prescribed jail activities.
Mitra, on the other hand, has had complete access to communication devices, regular home cooked food and constant contact with his party men and relatives.
Access to alcohol in jail
According to a national daily, in the last week of January, Mitra complained about feeling uneasy. He refused to go to the hospital. Following a check up, it was found that he wasn’t unwell, but drunk.
Further investigation followed, and to everyone’s surprise, it was found that the drinking water that was coming with his home-cooked food was spiked with alcohol.
No lack of loyal supporters
According to a report, Mitra seems to have supporters inside the jail too.
On one of the days, after having his home cooked food, he went out for a post-lunch walk. On the way, he was called a thief and abused by some inmates. As a result of this, prisoners who were supporting Mitra, engaged in violence with their fellow inmates. The minister was so upset at being insulted that he filed a complaint with the Alipore prison superintendent.
Madan Mitra was also found to be throwing several tantrums inside the jail.
Questioning the bias
Reports suggest that the aforementioned chain of events hasn’t gone down too well with BJP.
“Why is preferential treatment being given to the state Transport Minister Madan Mitra by police? Why is he taken to court in a police car instead of a prison van? If the police don’t refrain from this preferential treatment, we will approach the court seeking legal recourse,” BJP state President Rahul Sinha was reported as saying.
“If the situation takes a major turn, Mitra can be transferred to a jail in other state,” Sinha added.
This issue of preferential treatment to ministers and celebrities has been talked about for quite a while. It is essential to question the limits to which this shall continue. One conclusion that can easily be drawn from these instances is the fact that no one wants to take a risk by messing with people who hold any kind of power.
This issue was also raised in the state assembly. But Minister of State for Correctional Services, HA Safwi said that it is not possible to drag the minister to jail unless he is discharged.